A top barrister who tried to buy drugs from criminal clients he was representing at Woolwich Crown Court has lost an appeal against his sentence. 

Henry Hendron, 42, was jailed for 14 months last June after he asked to buy to buy Class A methamphetamine and then-Class C GBL from Arno Smit and Ezra Benson.  

Hendron, who had represented both men over drug supply allegations, was arrested outside Belmarsh prison in May last year while visiting Smit as his lawyer. 

The court heard Hendron had asked to buy drugs from Smit in September 2021 - just weeks before his client was arrested.  

He then represented Smit at the police station, the magistrates’ court and at Woolwich Crown Court, where his client entered not guilty pleas in November 2021 but was later jailed.  

Hendron pleaded guilty to three counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence and one count of possessing Class A drugs.   

Last June sentencing judge Jonathan Mann KC said: “You were messaging a client of yours who was later to face crown court proceedings for supply of drugs, you were encouraging him to supply you with drugs, then went to court to represent him.” 

At the Royal Courts of Justice on March 26 Hendron’s argued that his sentence was manifestly excessive, saying that the wrong sentencing guidelines were used, undue weight was given to Smit’s plea and that Judge Mann “strayed into the role of professional regulator”. 

It was further argued that Judge Mann should have recused himself as Hendron had lodged a formal complaint against him ahead of the sentencing hearing. 

But appeal judges said: “We cannot fault the judge in his approach to the question whether the sentence should be immediately served or suspended. 

“The judge plainly had regard to the principles in the guideline to which we referred earlier. This case involved a sequence of brazen serious criminal conduct involving a lawyer seeking to procure drugs for himself from a person he was representing in proceedings. 

“A sentence of immediate imprisonment was demanded in this case and was appropriately imposed by the judge. No other sentence could possibly be justified.” 

They concluded: “The sentence here is not excessive, still less manifestly excessive in all the circumstances.” 

News Shopper: Henry HendronHenry Hendron (Image: Met Police)

Hendron, who was called to the Bar in 2006, was known for representing prominent clients including the Earl of Cardigan.  

According to reports, in 2009 he acted in a civil matter for then Tory MP Ms Dorries, 66, who later served as culture secretary in Boris Johnson’s government and quit as an MP last Friday after missing out on a peerage in the ex-prime minister’s resignation honours.  

But Hendron’s career floundered after his 18-year-old boyfriend Miguel Jimenez was found dead at the flat the couple shared in Pump Court, Temple, in the City of London, after taking a lethal cocktail of so-called chemsex party drugs.  

He admitted buying £1,000 worth of M-cat or Meow Meow and GBL from award-winning BBC producer Alex Parkin and was handed a community order with 140 hours of unpaid work at the Old Bailey in 2016. Parkin was sentenced to 200 hours.  

Hendron, from Soho, central London, was suspended by the Bar Standards Board for three years following his 2016 convictions.  

He was reprimanded and prohibited from undertaking public access work for two years following a disciplinary hearing in 2021 after holding himself out as a barrister on websites while suspended.